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Asturias, Oviedo, Spain, A billboard displaying the Santander logo and sign. The signboard is on the roof of a building.

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Spain’s biggest bank broadens its VC footprint

Spanish bank Santander is poised to buy a third of Madrid-based VC firm Seaya.

Spanish bank Santander is poised to buy a third of Madrid-based venture capital firm Seaya—significantly expanding its VC exposure and climate investor credentials.

According to reports first made by Spain’s La Infomación, the bank will also invest in the firm’s €300 million (about $324 million) cleantech-focused Andromeda fund.

Santander already has a decent VC track record. In 2014, the bank created Santander Innoventures, its fintech-focused VC unit that backed, among others, PayPal‘s payments system Zettle. The unit then spun out in 2020 to create Mouro Capital, with Santander doubling its allocation from $200 million to $400 million.

The bank has its alternatives platform under Santander Asset Management, which, alongside Dutch firm EIT InnoEnergy, has managed the Santander InnoEnergy Climate Fund since 2022. Santander acquired a €140 million stake in EIT in September.

Therefore, it makes sense that Santander is acquiring part of Seaya, one of the country’s largest VC firms, with around €650 million in AUM and a portfolio that includes European unicorns such as Cabify and Glovo. Seaya’s latest vehicle also has the backing of power giant Iberdrola and the Spanish government’s tech fund.

As such, Spain’s biggest bank looks set to become one of the country’s more important VC players.

Featured image by Roberto Machado Noa/Getty Images

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